A Restaurant In Trouble

It is arguably the best Asian restaurant in our area. Whenever I drive past it now, I feel such a sadness that the parking lot is almost empty, no outside sitting area is available, and sometimes I could see one or two lonely figures, probably the owner, chef, or one of the waiters, smoking at the corner of the parking lot near the back door of the kitchen. I should go in to get a takeout. I said to myself but I didn’t go. The reason is that I always connect the concept of restaurant with our group outing and nothing else. It’s not for takeout, not for dining alone. Actually I did dine there once or twice ten years ago, and the waiters gave me such a look of incomprehension that I stopped doing that. I like my individuality and uniqueness, but I prefer expressing them in inconspicuous manners.

We used to go there pretty often, sometimes even twice a week. U once said that the waiters and waitresses never smiled, and they grabbed the almost empty plates away without asking you first. U is Americanized and restaurant to her is more than just for food, but this is not a restaurant for ambience. Rather it is a place for good food. I consider smile a part of a restaurant’s ambience. Actually sometimes I feel that the waiters and waitresses here would frown at you when you order. Not that I really saw them puckering up their brows, but their pen scratches their little pad impatiently to take down the order, their replies to your questions brief and abrupt. Sometimes when you pause to consider an order, they would fly about to other tables, making you wonder if they are going to come back. They usually do come back, but seeing them leave in the middle of ordering makes you wonder what is going on.

You have to fight your way to their weekend dim sum. The parking lot is small, the queue is long, the seating is cramped, the service is not the best, but the food attracts all the people here. And I have to say for the past ten years, they’ve never even once changed the dim sum menu; also the fish ball and the bean curd would run out within two hours.

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